A lot has been heard these days about the 3D printing technology being used as an aid to surgeons performing complex operations. Here is one such case where this technology helped in saving the life of a 25 year old Chinese welder who was severely injured. A 3D printed rib cage model was created to assist the surgeons to perform the complex surgery on this 25 year old man with seven broken ribs.
On November, 25 year old Pan Yong was left with seven broken ribs when a pillar weighing about hundred kilos smashed him in his chest while he was working on a construction site in Yueyang in the Hunan Province. Apart from multiple fractures, he also suffered from lung contusion and right pneumothorax which caused difficulty in breathing.
Cardiothoracic surgeon Zhang Gong, along with Director Yang Jinsong and Professor Liu Yiqi of Hunan Provincial People’s Hospital took to 3D printing technology for preoperative plan for the surgery considering the complexity involved for accurate location of the fracture and to put the fractured bones together.
With the help of the CT scan of the chest, an exact 3D model of the patient’s thorax bone, rib fractures and scapula was printed out of the photosensitive resin which helped the surgeons to work on the how to precisely locate the fractures and fix the bones into position and also to help the patient and the family understand the surgical process and the complications involved in it.
The 3D printed model helped the doctors to perform the complex surgery with precision and faster in just two hours and the patient was discharged from the hospital in less than a week.